Case Study

From Corporate Life to Living on the Beach, Meet Karli, the Business Coach Igniting Careers

Meet Lumia Graduate Koach Karli. After leaving behind a corporate career in Canada, Karli relocated to the vibrant landscapes of Mexico to become a coach.

In our Case Study series, we're diving into the personal journeys, the real-life ups and downs, and the unique paths of Lumia graduates. Discover how real coaches found their way to coaching, built their businesses, and get clients!

Every interview is a window into the life of someone who has embraced coaching as a way to not only change their own lives, but also to impact others. These conversations are about connection, growth, and the diverse ways each coach brings their authentic self to this meaningful and important work. 

From Corporate Life to Living on the Beach, Meet Karli, the Business Coach Igniting Careers

Today’s interview is with Koach Karli – a Lumia graduate with a unique story about her transition to full-time coaching!

After leaving behind a corporate career in Canada, Karli relocated to the vibrant landscapes of Mexico to embrace her true calling as a business coach. Known as "Koach Karli," she is dedicated to guiding new life coaches as they launch their online businesses and secure their first paying clients. You can connect with Karli here

Please introduce yourself and describe your niche as a life coach.

Hi, my name is Karli, I'm a business coach for new life coaches, helping you sign your first paid clients. 

What’s your professional background? 

I went to university for psychology thinking that I wanted to become a psychologist, and then I was working in a corporate environment for a ferry company – on a ship, working in passenger service, and supervising a department, managing people and passengers. I did that for the 10 years leading up to when I got into coaching.

How did you find Lumia?

I was looking for different coaching certifications online. I really liked that Lumia stressed community and a holistic version of coaching. Something that stood out to me was John Kim and how he did sessions out of his car,  in his garage, while he's working out and on a walk. 

I wanted to coach in a style that was similar to that. I didn't want to be constrained to an office if I didn't want to be. I wanted to be an example to other people, other coaches. “I can still be a professional coach, and not be in an office.” It took a little bit of rewiring to trust that I would be taken seriously, and a leap of faith to start showing up authentically. I didn't conform to the typical professional ideals. 

How did you build your coaching practice to where it is today?

For my first year in coaching, I was still working corporate for the whole first year. I told myself, okay, after a year of this, we're going to do full time coaching. I moved to Mexico and started full time coaching. I have sold all of my belongings in Canada. I had some wiggle room financially because of a payout from my old job.

Something that I didn't do in my first year was learn anything about how to market and sell my coaching. 

I was signing clients, but not enough to sustain my life. And I was using some of the savings that I had from my corporate job to sustain me while I was figuring all this out. 

In order to feel safe, I decided to take on some part time work. I didn’t  want to be worrying. 

But I struggled with my own ego. “I've told everyone that I've gone full time and now I'm going to take on another job?” 

Whatever you need to do to feel safe is the best foundation for your coaching business. I took on some part-time work and also hired a marketing coach. Someone who was able to help me understand what I need to be doing every day. The things that I was focusing on before, spending seven hours in Canva, creating a pretty aesthetic graphic – that was not actually what was going to move the needle in my business. 

What does a coach need to do to get their first clients?

You only need a few things. You need a way for someone to book a call with you, a way to have someone pay you, and an offer to invite them into. That's all you need to start coaching.

You don't need anything fancy. You don't need to compare yourself to the coach that you may have hired, who has some fancy onboarding process. It can be so much simpler. 

Then you need to share this offer with all people that are in your network. Share it all of the time over and over and over again. If you sell it for a week, you talk about it for a week and no one signs up, that doesn't mean it's not working. 

How did you find your first coaching clients?

My very first clients, I signed quite quickly – a month out of my Lumia certification. In my first year, I found a handful of clients. That came about just from talking about what I was doing. 

It didn't get consistent until I stepped away from the fear of looking silly, as if I didn't know what I was doing. I had to show up confident – whoever gets in front of me, I can coach them, I can help them. 

The desire really started sprouting in me to help new life coaches start their businesses. Time and time again, I could see people struggling, not knowing what to do or how to sign clients.

They’d give up when that external validation isn't initially there. When you don't sign someone in the first week. When you don't sign someone after talking about your offer three times. 

But what many people don’t understand is you can’t just talk at a very high level, “Move past your limiting beliefs, empower yourself!” This kind of speaking above everyone's head? What does that mean? 

For a parent – do you really want a more empowering relationship with your children? Or do you want to be able to go on a road trip and not feel like you're just spent two hours in the depths of hell? Take it down to brass tacks, and talk to people in a real way.

What was the biggest adjustment when leaving your full time job for coaching?

I had no idea how hard this was going to be. I had no idea how much work I was going to put in.

“Why am I doing this?” I asked myself this question, especially on the hard days. Would I rather be working for steady income and have that predictable bi-weekly paycheck, but still be doing what I used to be doing? No.

When I quit my corporate job, I didn't have one, not one active client. I said “Let's do this.” I thought that because I was going “all in” that all these clients were going to appear. That didn't exactly happen.

That was a big slap in the face, wake up call, because I had this idea that I was being told by a lot of people, you know, if you just had all this extra time, then your business would thrive. 

What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d share with other people who want to quit their jobs and become coaches full time?

Put in the work, know what you're doing it for, and then give yourself five to 10 years to be an “overnight success.”

You don't have to quit your job before you have clients. It’s possible to work towards that slow build of signing clients before you quit your job. Because if you want a vacation, take a vacation. I'm not saying don't quit the job, but I've learned a lot through doing that. And it's not always the best decision. Sometimes it's good to have options. It would be great if I signed a client this month, but I don't need to sign a client this month. 

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about coaching?

This is about building a sustainable business. It is easy to look at all the shiny “make six figures your first year of coaching” type noise. 

But when I had set those goals for myself, they were way too high!  I consistently felt like I wasn't making any progress because I had set my goal to make six figures, which I had never done in my corporate job. “I have to make this much or I'm a failure.” And it's just not true.

What are some tips for overcoming the fear of sharing authentically?

I don't overcome the cringe. I use the cringe as a mirror for myself. 

If I'm about to post something and I feel, “Oh my gosh, this feels scary, this feels like a hot take, what if people judge me for this…” I use that as a sign that this is something that needs to be said.

I lean into the cringe versus leaning out of it. 

At the beginning, when I first started, I felt the cringe was strong. There were some things I initially did to ease it. I blocked my friends and family from my social media. I don't need my father seeing me make analogies about getting my ass waxed and coaching! That doesn't need to be in the same place. 

I blocked my friends and family because a lot of those voices that were in my head at the beginning were, “Who am I to be a coach? Who am I to change a career? Who am I to be taken seriously?” And I noticed that at the root of that was whenever I did have that cringe feeling, a person would pop up in my head. “What if so and so sees this?” That was one of the first things when I realized that the cringe was hindering what I wanted to spread. I removed the people that were creating that feeling for me.

Am I going to let someone from high school hinder me from saying what I want to say? No way. Just block, unfollow, mute. It's your space. It's your social media. It's your front porch. You don't have to have anyone there without invitation.

How have you grown your own confidence?

It was rocky at the beginning. There were a lot of those voices saying, “Who are you to be talking about this and to have any credibility?”

I had to change my thinking. I believe that the people that I want to work with and that are going to benefit from my coaching – I have the ability to change the trajectory of their lives.

“Fake it till you make it” is a cliche that I love and I hate, but sometimes it really does take showing up as if you're already the hottest shit on the block. Because for most people, these thoughts that come up that aren't very helpful.

Something I did to help boost my own self-belief and self-concept was to ask people around me, what are the first three words you think of when you think of me? And I put them on a piece of poster board on my wall and every morning when I woke up I would look at those words.

It's just the consistent belief that you are the person who is going to drastically impact someone else's life and if you don't show up you're never going to have made that impact.

What’s the Lumia community like?

One of my best friends to this day came from my cohort in Lumia. I loved it. The way that Lumia structures their classes and their cohorts really fosters that sense of community, the small groups where there are 30-ish people in your class, so you can really get to know each and every person.

It becomes your cheerleading squad as you go through the program. And one of the coaches I met there is still one of my best friends cheering me on every day. 

How are the Lumia instructors?

Going into the program, especially having done my formal education, I saw mostly white professional educators. And coming into Lumia, that wasn't my experience. I was actually able to be taught from people of all different perspectives, all different backgrounds. And that was important to me. It really was. Being an ally, I don't want to invest in something where all I see is white educators. And Lumia makes an effort really to be that ally as well.

How does Lumia support their students?

The support was there from day one. Lumia really puts their students first and it wasn't just running through a program. Having done education in university, it didn't have that same cold feeling about it. Lumia cares about you, beyond just running you through a program. Lumia cares about you even after you've left the program. Lumia’s there to support you every step of the way.

Have you seen an increase in your income or client base since completing Lumia?

I would not have had any clients if I hadn't done the program!

I wouldn't have felt confident enough in my abilities.  If you want to feel confident in your abilities as a coach and know that you have the foundation of how to coach, doing a Lumia certification should be top of your list. It is always an asset. 

Would you recommend Lumia to others?

I definitely would. If you want to learn how to coach and be a really damn good coach, I would join Lumia. Lumia is going to teach you how to be an incredible coach. And you can, if you want to build your own business, if you want to coach part time, if you just want to coach for free. Lumia has helped me in my personal and my professional life. And it's, it just keeps giving, honestly.

How has Lumia helped you build the life you want?

I wanted to have a life where I was working remotely on my own hours, working for myself.

And through doing my coaching certification at Lumia, I was really able to make that come true. I am now living in Mexico within walking distance of a beach in Puerto Vallarta and I'm working for myself and I'm supporting myself on my coaching income. It was hard work, but the certification and getting to where I am now, it all started with my Lumia training. 

I want you to know that coming out of this program doesn't mean you are going to have a thriving coaching business. It means that you are going to have what you need to coach, and everything from that point on gets to be up to you. 

Lumia teaches you how to be a great coach and they give you the tools that you need to coach your people. This is the first step and it gives you the ability to do anything you want from here.

Thinking of Becoming a Coach?

A lot of talented people like you dream of having a coaching career, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We train and certify adventurous coaches, making sure you’ve got all you need to build a career you love and transform lives, on your terms.

If you're ready to learn more, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training!

‍Lumia Coaching: Vibrant community. Evidence-based life coach training. Lifetime support.

[Free Guide] 6 Steps to Start Coaching Today

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Lumia is accredited by the ICF as a Level 2 Pathway Program. Want to learn more about the ICF credential requirements? Click here for further details.